Monitoring the health of structures

Using sensing, continuous monitoring and advanced data analysis techniques we support civil and industrial asset managers to make more informed maintenance decisions.

The Challenge

A race against the clock

Assets such as buildings and bridges are typically maintained when something goes wrong or according to preventative maintenance schedules. However, these approaches don't make the best use of limited maintenance resources.

Reacting to problems when they occur means assets operate at reduced service levels until resources are mobilised to repair the problem. Preventative, or time-based, maintenance is an improvement though it is often inefficient as maintenance is either too early or too late.

Our Response

Collecting and analysing data to improve maintenance schedules

We have developed structural health monitoring technology to enable maintenance to be scheduled based on actual asset condition, increasing productivity and extending asset life.

Our approach to informed maintenance decision-making is underpinned by:

  • Sensing and data acquisition: Sensors and distributed processing capabilities are deployed to suit large and small structures.
  • Data analytics: Analytical techniques developed by our team provide information for specific situations such as damage detection, condition assessment, loading assessment and maintenance prioritisation.
  • A continuous monitoring service: Our service applies data management and the analytical techniques to provide asset managers and engineers with situational awareness and the information they need to make decisions.

The Results

Helping to maintain Sydney Harbour Bridge

We're helping Roads and Maritime Services NSW to maximise the service life of the Sydney Harbour Bridge road deck without significant increase in expenditure.

We’re helping Roads and Maritime Services NSW to maximise the service life of the Sydney Harbour Bridge road deck without significant increase in expenditure. © NICTA

By implementing a monitoring system using 2400 sensors to collect information on the condition of the road, and using machine-learning based predictive analytics, we're able to continuously assess the data we collect and provide an early warning of problems before bridge users are affected.

Through the continuous monitoring of the structural health of each of the 800 steel and concrete supports under the roadway, Roads and Maritime Services NSW can undertake condition-based and predictive-based maintenance to reduce their costs and minimise interruptions to bridge traffic.

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